Misinformation Milestone of More than 100 Israel-Hamas War False Claims

Since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas War in October 2023, NewsGuard analysts have documented 111 Israel-Hamas war falsehoods online, spread by 331 websites, through social media platforms, and in search results

(March 26, 2024 — New York) NewsGuard today announced that since Oct. 7, 2023, the day Hamas attacked Israel, NewsGuard’s team has debunked 111 false narratives and their variations about the conflict. Cumulatively, these myths have been spread by 331 news and information websites and counting.

In addition to spreading false narratives that seek to undermine support for Israel or Hamas, unreliable sources have attempted to pass off AI-generated or otherwise doctored images of the war as real, wrongly implicating major brands such as Nike, Starbucks, and Pepsi as supporters or opponents of either side and generating fake news reports falsely claimed as coming from outlets such as CNN and Le Figaro. An overview of NewsGuard’s reporting on this topic can be found online on its Israel-Hamas War Misinformation Tracker, accessible to the public.

“The rapid proliferation of provably false narratives surrounding the Israel-Hamas War not only dangerously misinforms the public about a serious matter, but also unfairly implicates brands and companies who are unrelated to the conflict,” said Steven Brill, co-CEO at NewsGuard. “Our findings are used by our partners to monitor further falsehoods, verify claims about the war, and prevent harmful myths advancing further on their platforms, among other use cases.”

NewsGuard has also reported on the novel ways in which bad actors have used new technologies to spread these myths. For example, in November 2023, NewsGuard reported that an AI-generated content farm, GlobalVillageSpace.com, appeared to have used artificial intelligence to write an article claiming that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s non-existent psychiatrist died by suicide.

“Alongside documenting individual false claims, NewsGuard’s analysts have discovered hundreds of websites complicit in publishing Israel-Hamas War misinformation. These are websites that would devastate the reputations of brands who unwittingly run their advertising campaigns on them,” said Sarah Brandt, EVP Partnerships at NewsGuard. “Agencies and brands who license NewsGuard’s data to safeguard and tailor their ad campaigns on news sites can rest assured they will receive full protection from running ads on sites flagged for publishing Israel-Hamas War misinformation.”

Below are samples of prominent Israel-Hamas war false claims identified by NewsGuard analysts, that are available to clients in full, machine-readable format in NewsGuard’s proprietary Misinformation Fingerprints database:

According to NewsGuard’s findings, these websites are the top three superspreaders of Israel-Hamas false claims:

Read more about this and other findings from NewsGuard’s editorial team in our newsletter, Reality Check.


About NewsGuard

Founded by media entrepreneur and award-winning journalist Steven Brill and former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz, NewsGuard provides transparent tools to counter misinformation for readers, brands, and democracies. Since launching in 2018, its global staff of trained journalists and information specialists has collected, updated, and deployed more than 6.9 million data points on more than 35,000 news and information sources, and cataloged and tracked all of the top false narratives spreading online. 

NewsGuard’s analysts, powered by multiple AI tools, operate the trust industry’s largest and most accountable dataset on news. These data are deployed to fine-tune and provide guardrails for generative AI models, enable brands to advertise on quality news sites and avoid propaganda or hoax sites, provide media literacy guidance for individuals, and support democratic governments in countering hostile disinformation operations targeting their citizens. 

Among other indicators of the scale of its operations is that NewsGuard’s apolitical and transparent criteria have been applied by its analysts to rate news sources accounting for 95% of online engagement with news across nine countries.